I hope that you are enjoying the warm weather as we head into another month of the academic and calendar year. I write today with updates and information as to recent activities that you may find of interest.

This week, I attended the first CUNY Board of Trustees meeting of the academic year. While I have previously participated in committee meetings prior to this, Monday’s gathering was the first opportunity to engage with the entire delegation, and I took the time to impress upon those with whom I spoke about the unique aspects of our campus and the need for their continued (and increased!) support. The Board members are important advocates for CUNY and for CSI, so having them and others visit our campus is imperative—as such, I extended invitations to several of them, and to members of the Central Office staff, to visit us in the coming weeks and months. I am hopeful that they will do so and learn more about “the best kept secret in higher education.” 

This was a message I delivered, too, at this week’s CSI Career Fair, where more than 300 of our students networked with 75 potential employers. It was wonderful to speak with so many community partners about our excellent programs and on behalf of our phenomenal students. I learned of exciting internship and apprentice opportunities, of exciting career options, and of the many ways in which government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and private businesses can work with CSI to the betterment of our students and graduates. Kudos to the staff in the Center for Career and Professional Development for the hard work that went into organizing the event, to the Office of Alumni Engagement for their support, and to our friends at the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, who co-sponsored the event. I was particularly thrilled to see our students working the event (literally) by doing things such as taking professional headshots (under the expert eye of faculty mentors like Professor Chris Verene in Photography), so that their colleagues and peers can be best represented on social media platforms and elsewhere. It is clear that our institution is well regarded by employers and that is a testament to the work that we all do in preparing our students for life after college.   

On Thursday, we held our monthly Faculty Senate and College Council meetings, where we heard of recent accomplishments related to research, scholarly and creative activities (the Provost’s Faculty Accolades, or Fac-olades), discussed proposed changes to Governance Plan by-laws, and received updates from various governance body committees. We also heard from student representatives concerning desires for improvements to campus facilities (such as the lactation room, which will be addressed next week), and on-campus transportation (modifications to the loop and accessibility service are underway). Our commitment to shared governance and open dialog is clearly resulting in positive and expeditious changes for our campus. That evening, several of our CSI colleagues and I ventured to the Graduate Center, CUNY for a reception recognizing the work of many within the University for their efforts to advance BRESI (Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies Initiatives). We heard from the Chancellor, the University Provost, and others about the importance of this work, and I came away feeling both proud and validated by the contributions that CSI is making in this space.  

Unfortunately, I share the sad news of the passing of a longtime member of the English Department, Bob Brandt.  Bob spearheaded the campus Writing Center, was an integral part of the work that went on there, and was a staple of the CSI community for more than three decades. He has left an indelible mark on our campus, and he will be missed by many. I am sure that his memory will be a blessing to all.

Next week sees a number of campus events, including our first prospective student Open House (October 29), a student photography exhibit (October 31), Halloween (with myriad student activities), our kick-off “CSI Spirit Day” (November 2), and the SIEDC’s annual Health & Wellness Expo (November 2). I hope that you all get an opportunity to participate in at least some of these. With respect to the Health & Wellness Expo, which will be open to the public, we will be reserving parking for guests in parking lots 1 and 2.  In light of that, we are asking employees in 1A to either consider parking in a different lot, or discussing alternate work arrangements with their supervisors for that specific date. I thank you for all your support, and wish you a restful and relaxing weekend.

Until next time, 

Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D. (he/him/his)